I could not describe exactly what happened next. A sharp bark later and what felt like hundreds of rabid dark beasts seemed to violently climb the trees with mouth and claw. Like a rolling wave, they pulled on each other, growling and gurgling on foamy spit. Davite and I must have jumped from tree and tree fueled by sweat and fear of the unnaturally quite rumbling behinds us. Unlike every other kind of wolf I've ever heard of or seen, the damned dogs did not bark. They only snarled and panted, pulling themselves closer and faster than the death of light. A wall of black pounding out of the ocean waves. A wall of primal evil.
For a while, there was nothing but white in my mind. The dedication to running for my life was more than the pain of the acid that must have been pumping through my veins. In place of blood, there was only screams under my skin. "RUN! RUN! RUN!"
The bane-weed never left it's sack. There was no time.
It was the cold water of the Silver River that shocked me to my senses. The chill snapped the noise out of my mind in am icy sensation of weightlessness. I quickly realized I must have jumped to the safety of the river, but had no memory of doing so. When I surfaces, I turned to see my pursuers. A blessing from all celestial beings granted that the wolves, piling up at the edge of the river, could not stand to enter it, not even to pursue one who had blasphemed their sacred site with his presence. Davite was no where.
What followed was a strange and unnerving game of Predator/Prey. I could not swim better than to pull myself onto the opposite shore, but somehow the Dread wolves also found themselves to the other side of the river, possibly crossing the canopy above in a single-minded and hateful hunt. Always, I kept to the shores, my supplies lost to the river bed below. When the wolves grew too close, I jumped into the water and tread toward the middle, until they backed off, unsure of how to reach me.
Once or twice, the wolves would work together, holding a long branch at both ends, one wolf to anchor on shore and the other to try and reach me at the middle. This never worked, because even when close, the beast could not do more than claw me, unwilling to loose the branch.
The sun rose like the Goddess of the East, forcing the angry wolves to shy away back into the thick and demonic grove. I found myself at my limit of exhaustion and pain. With nothing left inside me, I finally collapsed on the bridge to Elexia and through fevered dreams, I barely felt the pull and care of Chumkin and the farm girl who sold me the bane-weed. I slept for a day and a night.
Still without energy, the next morning, they found what had once been Davite dragged to the edge of the woods. His fate the same as that bird sacrifice. A message from the Dread Wolves.
Dread Wolves (Creature)
Fit: 0 Awr: 1 Crv: -1 Res: 1 Luk: 2 Dis: 4
Brawling(Proficient), Investigate(Novice), Tactics(Proficient)
Claw(2 fatigue Damage), Bite(1 injury Damage)